Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Thanks, Nicole, for the thoughtful gift!

I spent a lovely lunch with former coworkers last week. It was an opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen in awhile, and I’m glad I asked my former boss to organize it. It was such a joy!

My friend, Nicole, brought me this:

A thoughtful gift from a dear friend.

A thoughtful gift from a dear friend.

Each book has a special meaning attached to it.

Little Women — I remind my friend of Jo March. Nicole told me this once a long time ago, though I’d forgotten. I have an old copy of Little Women, published in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I’ve read it at least five times. I think it’s about time to read it again.

Persuasion — Nicole’s favorite book. I’ve never read it, so I’m looking forward to it.

The Great Gatsby — Another favorite of Nicole’s.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s all Small Stuff — I’ve heard of this book, of course, but have never read it. Nicole thought it would be useful.

And, most importantly, a Starbucks gift card! I’m sure I’ll burn through it quickly when classes start this summer.

Thanks, Nicole! I appreciate such a thoughtful gift.


Win some Crafty Chica books

Corinne Leigh over at Craftovision (formerly of Threadbanger) is hosting a give away with Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. Crafty Chica.

Cano-Murillo has started writing novels and she and Corinne are giving away two. To win ’em, you have to like Craftovision and Crafty Chica’s Facebook pages. You can do that here and here.

To learn more, watch the current Craftovision video:


1 Comment

Quick update and other randomness

Hi, folks! Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. for a few weeks. Some things came up (i.e. work, sick grandpa), so I’ve been busy dealing with things other than blogging …. or even crafting!

But I started hitting the needles again earlier this week and I plan to finish those pair of gloves this weekend (Sorry, Chelsey!) I don’t think I’ll get Chris’ cardigan finished by next week, but that’s fine. I got a late start on it anyway and some of the other projects for the 2011 Sweater Challenge will be fairly quick.

I also plan to work some more on my knit top I talked about here, but I’m not promising myself I’ll finish it this weekend. That’s just setting the bar too high since I’ve still got laundry to do, taxes to pay and other things to do that I’ve gotten behind on. I’m starting to pick up the pieces, though, and get things back on track.

Though I haven’t done anything crafty in the past couple weeks, I have made some killer recipes (I’ve gotta eat, yo) and planned out our spring and fall gardens. In fact, we dropped the onion sets into the ground Valentine’s Day weekend.

Next up we’ll start seeds for broccoli and spinach. We can start those inside as early as next weekend.

To plan out the garden, we’re using this book and I love it (thanks, Mom)!

Mom gave it to us for Christmas and I’ve flipped through it many times since December. It gives tips on how to plant seeds and/or plants, when to apply side dressings, how to prevent disease and pests and what are some good companion plants. It’s all organized in a user-friendly layout and easy to read and use. I’m looking forward to referring to it several times this year.

As promised, I’ll snap a few pics of the cardigan and post these on here sometime later this weekend or early next week.


2 Comments

A FO and another on the way

Ta Da! A FO for me! (That’s a Finished Object for the uninitiated.)

Sorry about the dark photos. Although we have windows throughout the house, there isn’t really any space that’s good for shooting crafty photos.

This is the best shot of the front I could get. I don’t think you can see the stitching as well here. The shirt has a V-neck collar.

This is Jane Snedden Peever’s “Surf and Turf” pattern from “Crocheted Sweaters: Simple Stitches, Great Designs.”

I made a tan crocheted hoodie like this last year for my sister-in-law. Mine is burgundy and a size larger. I debated whether to leave off the hoodie, but decided it gives it more character than just a plain ol’ vest. I also added two inches to the bottom for a longer fit and I really like that.

The color is off, but here’s the hoodie without me wearing it. I took some close up shots to try and show the stitching but they didn’t turn out all that great. I really need to figure out a good place to shoot photos!

I did not, however, make the tie/belt that is included in the pattern. I didn’t think it was needed and it would just be something I’d have to try and keep up with each time I clean the shirt.

On the hook now is the Hot Cross Slouch Slouch Beret by Jennifer L. Appleby, which was published in Interweave Crochet’s Winter 2007 issue.

This yarn may prove to be too stiff for this pattern. I’ve got six more rows so we’ll soon see how it works out!

______________________________________________
Here’s some books from Jane Snedden Peever. I don’t know much about these books, but I enjoyed making the Surf and Turf pattern (I did make it twice after all!) and these books might be really cool to check out.


I’ve also included “Interweave Crochet” and “Interweave Knits,” both really good magazines filled with all kinds of patterns and inspiration.

       


Old Salem Tavern and Edward McKay

Hello! Last weekend was very lovely. Chris, Sidney and I spent time outdoors on some trails and doing some Christmas shopping.

Here’s a quick recap of things we did and places you might enjoy checking out.

Saturday
On Saturday we headed to Winston-Salem, N.C., where we walked around at Historic Bethabara (always a favorite), dined at Old Salem Tavern (loved it!) and bought a mountain of books at Edward McKay (first visit to this Winston store; we usually visit the Greensboro store).

Historic Bethabara
Historic Bethabara is were the Moravians originally settled before moving to Old Salem. We always enjoy walking around the gardens, old buildings and trails.

On this particular day, we finally made it to town while the visitor center/museum was open. We only had 10 mins. to browse around, but at least we got to see it. I really want to go back when we have more time to look at all the exhibits.

Old Salem Tavern
At Old Salem Tavern, which is located in Historic Old Salem, Chris had a steak and I had salmon in a pumpkin and sunflower seed crust.

The waitstaff dresses in period clothes and each table has a candle. I wouldn’t think, looking at the menu and set up, that this would be considered a family-friendly place, but families were there, including a mom with her two grown daughters and a toddler grandson and a family of five with children ages 7 and under who sat in the same room as us.

It’s great the restaurant is so accommodating that families fell free to come. The kids were really well-behaved, so the unique atmosphere and our experience wasn’t ruined by wild kids running around. Definitely grab a bite to eat here when you visit Old Salem!

Edward McKay
Next up — Edward McKay, a used book store with locations in many cities through N.C. I’d already taken Chris to the Greensboro location, where I used to visit when I was a student at UNCG. I had just heard about the Winston location and we went to check it out.

Jackpot! We bought $200+ worth of books for under $70. I so love used book stores! Chris found a lot of books. He said he can never find anything that interests him when we go to big box, new book stores, but this place is a gem.

I left with four text-like books, a knitting book, a color guide used for design and a dog training book. Chris bought a bunch of fiction and some non-fiction.

Sunday
On Sunday we headed up to Christiansburg, Va., to do some Christmas shopping.

There’s not really that many cool places to tell you about, but we stopped at the Bed, Bath and Beyond where we bought some really cool dishes and a Ross Dress for Less (my favorite store!) where to grabbed some bed sheets and shirts. We were able to put a small dent in the gift lift.

On the way to the city, we stopped at Radford to walk on the Riverway Trail, a 3.5 mile, paved trail. It’s a very nice walk through the city’s Bissett and Wildwood parks. We’ve walked it a few times before and some of the trails at Wildwood Park. It’s a pretty neat park system for such a small city.

Bissett Park is a large recreation park with fields and playgrounds. On this day, we walked by several soccer games.

Wildwood Park is a wooded park with dirt paths going up and down the side of hills along a creek. We probably walk the most on this trail. It’s located across the road from Bissett Park, but the Riverway Trail connects both parks by a tunnel under the road.

I wish we had something like that in our town!


Autumn Leaves Festival

Chris and I went to the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mount Airy, N.C., pretty late on a a Sunday afternoon.

I thought this display was cute.
Some musicians jamming downtown.

We thought there was still quite a crowd, but vendors said the crowd had thinned out a lot.

Crowd shot!

I believe some of the vendors had left also. There weren’t as many booths as we expected and there appeared to be several empty spots along the curb.

We explored new wine shop downtown — Uncorked. Very nice couple. Nice selection of wines. No, we didn’t buy any. But the store is set up very nice and offers tastings. Check it out!

Checking out the wine selection at Uncorked, downtown Mount Airy.

We also stumbled across a new location for Yesterdays, a book, comic, collectables store that used to be located on the 2nd floor of an antiques store. They’re now at 160 N. Main St., Unit 100.

One of the owner’s wives is also selling most of her yarn stock. I expect the yarn supplies will be there for quite awhile. There was a lot of yarn and supplies in a room off of the main store’s shopping area. I plan to go back and browse more of the yarn and supplies.